Please select your home edition
Edition
Raymarine AUS Lighthouse 3 Annapolis 3.9 - TOP

Boaters urged to weigh in on Erie Canal future to preserve recreational boating

by Scott Croft 16 Jul 15:02 UTC

The nation's largest advocacy group for recreational boaters, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is urging Empire State boaters and those who transit the Erie Canal System to have their voices heard at upcoming "Reimagine the Canal" stakeholder sessions this week in Lockport and Brockport and in the following weeks in Syracuse and Utica.

They may also share their comments online. The community engagement sessions are organized by the New York State Canal Corporation's parent, the New York Power Authority, and managed by the Rockefeller Group, to "identify new uses" of the historic waterway.

At the first scheduled stakeholder session held in Schenectady last week on July 11, the Times Union of Albany reported that some boaters voiced concerns that process may be ignoring the needs of recreational boaters. In the Friday, July 12, feature, "State Collecting Ideas for Reinventing Erie Canal," one longtime canal enthusiast wondered why a video, shown at the start of last week's meeting explaining the project, largely ignored the most obvious use of the canal: powerboating. "If they are not in the pictures they are not in the reimagination," said local boat owner Ted Bochenek as reported by the Times.

"Any boater who uses the canal, including local boat owners; the cruising community, including snowbirds that transit the waterway each fall and spring on their annual migration; and out-of-state boaters doing the Great Loop, should speak up now or attend an event if they can," said BoatUS Manager of Government Affairs David Kennedy. "While the state has previously invested in the canal's future with more recreational boating amenities such as safe harbors to tie up for the night, we want to ensure that recreational boating is not minimized in the current decision-making process," added Kennedy.

While recreational boating in general has declined from its peak 30 years ago with a corresponding drop in canal traffic, New York State remains No. 3 in the nation for recreational boating economic activity with an $8.4 billion annual economic impact. Other measures such as shortening of the canal system operating season and hours of operation and increased flood events may also have an effect on reducing lock-throughs. The state has more than 440,000 registered recreational vessels and nearly 38,000 dues-paying BoatUS members.

Boaters can go to the Reimagine the Canal website to RSVP to attend one of the following meetings or, if unable to attend, post a comment. Rockefeller Group also advises that additional community stakeholder sessions will be announced later this summer.

  • Lockport: Monday, July 15, 6-8 p.m., at the Challenger Learning Center, 160 Washburn Street
  • Brockport: Tuesday, July 16, 6-8 p.m., at the SUNY Brockport Cooper Hall, New York Room
  • Syracuse: Tuesday, July 23, 6-8 p.m., at the SUNY ESF Gateway Center, 1 Forestry Drive
  • Utica: Tuesday, July 30, 6-8 p.m., at the SUNY Polytechnic Institute Campus Center, 100 Seymour Avenue

Related Articles

Want to learn how to boat?
Affordable three-hour on-water training courses at Tampa Boat Show Want to learn the basics of powerboating or brush up on your skills? The nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water together with Tampa Boat Show offer a choice of two fun on-water boat training courses Posted on 3 Aug
Three simple ways to reduce plastic waste
18 billion pounds of plastic is dumped into our oceans from coastal regions Each year, an estimated 18 billion pounds of plastic is dumped into our oceans from coastal regions. According to a study by the World Economic Forum, at the current rate of pollution, there will be more plastics than fish, by weight, in the ocean Posted on 25 Jul
8 things boaters ought to know
New video outlines unique precautions required when heading offshore to a marine sanctuary The NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries include more than 600,000 square miles of marine protected areas, from the rugged Olympic Peninsula of Washington to the "shipwreck alley" of Michigan's Thunder Bay and the turquoise-hued shallows of the Florida Keys. Posted on 23 Jul
Affordable 3-hour on-water training courses
Lake Norman, North Carolina, to host Coming to Lake Norman are two fun and affordable on-water boat training courses taught aboard single-engine powerboats: Intro to Boating and Women Making Waves. Posted on 15 Jul
Affordable 3-hour on-water training courses
Want to learn the basics of powerboating or brush up on your skills? The nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water together with Freedom Boat Club Yarmouth offer a choice of two fun on-water boat training courses taught aboard single-engine powerboats: Intro to Boating and Women Making Waves Posted on 6 Jul
Florida Governor signs Recreational Boat Title Act
What it means to boaters both inside and outside the Sunshine State Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' recent signing of a recreational boat title bill, the Uniform Certificate of Title Act (HB 475/S 676), offers recreational boat owners valuable consumer protections and may spur other states to follow suit. Posted on 3 Jul
The secret to surviving July 4th on the water
Possible mayhem at launch ramps, marinas and popular anchorages Each year about three out of four recreational boat owners say they plan to enjoy the Fourth of July holiday aboard the family boat. With nearly 12 million registered vessels in the U.S., that could spell mayhem at launch ramps, marinas Posted on 28 Jun
Boaters beware: Expect more E15 this summer
A bad fuel is lurking Over the objections of a wide coalition of American citizens and environmental, conservation, food producer, fuel retailer, taxpayer advocate, and outdoor recreation industry groups, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Posted on 18 Jun
Affordable 3-hour on-water training courses
Intro to Boating and Women Making Waves offered on Lake Norman The nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water together with Freedom Boat Club Lake Norman offer a choice of two fun on-water boat training courses taught aboard single-engine powerboats: Intro to Boating and Women Making Waves. Posted on 1 Jun
Boaters aren't the only ones getting heavier
BoatUS says be careful when repowering One year ago the U.S. Coast Guard required new recreational boats to have more floatation to support the increased weight of newer four-stroke outboards if the boat becomes swamped. Posted on 31 May
Marina Exchange FOOTER 1Nanni Diesel 2019 FooterBandG AUS Zeus3 FOOTER